A fun interview with Vancouver locals Rachel and Travis Gertz of Louder Than Ten. We chat about their upcoming talk at our 2016 event and how design & content should work together. They had us at design (& content).
Steve Fisher: Well, hi! We’re here for another interview for the Design & Content Conference. This time we’ve got some locals from Vancouver, Rachel and Travis from Louder Than Ten. Why don’t you two introduce yourselves to the crowd?
Rachel Gertz: Hi guys. I’m Rachel Gertz. I am content strategist and also a consultant for digital processes.
Travis Gertz: And I’m Travis. I’m a designer and front-end developer who also does a lot of consulting for processes.
Steve Fisher: That’s great. It’s so fantastic to have you two involved, because obviously you bring together the two disciplines that the whole conference is about. And very complementary too. We’ve loved your work. I’m seeing your blog posts. If you haven’t gone to their blog, you really should. You’ll enjoy it. Maybe you could actually just tell us a little bit more about your company and what it does.
Rachel Gertz: Yeah, for sure. Louder Than Ten, we work with small companies who are kind of in the transition process where they want to grow into more sustainable businesses by integrating digital. So we deal with setting up project management processes but also creating systems for design and content to help folks get a leg up.
Travis Gertz: Yeah, we’ll build websites and identities and everything, but with mostly the goals of making their systems more efficient internally, helping them make more profit but also kind of just making things run more efficiently especially if they have creative teams internally. Things like that.
Rachel Gertz: Yeah. Making sure they look after their people.
Steve Fisher: That’s great. Now you’re giving a talk at the conference that initially you had pitched as a workshop. We thought this is going to make a great talk for everyone to hear, too. Why don’t you tell us a little bit about that and what people can expect?
Rachel Gertz: Right, totally. So when we think about content, a lot of the time we’re actually thinking about bringing that content into kind of boxes first and then we look at the pilot design and then we’re going to have a complete package because it’s always like—getting the content is the barrier. What we want to do is we want to kind of change the perception of how content and design can work together, because it shouldn’t be like – even though it’s something that needs to come in first, it needs to be considered with design. So those two elements need to work together because they can actually create something that’s way more expressive. If you have seen a lot of sites out there, we are starting to follow this pattern of just what do the metrics tell us? What should we do, because this button said that you can get a better ROI or a better click-ratio if we follow through on this? So we’re looking at putting the whole thing together and letting sort of the fundamental goals, the business goals of our company drive those decisions informed by content and design working together.
Travis Gertz: Yeah. So we really want to look at how a designer and a content strategist, editor, writer can actually work together with each piece of content to really push out the message so that they are not just considered one after another. So we kind of battle it out and figure out what are the practical ways we can make our products a little more personal, bring a little more humanity to the brands we work with. Things like that.
Steve Fisher: That’s great and it fits so well with the overall theme of the conference. You know we’re kicking things off again this year with Sara Wachter-Boettcher, and she is going to be talking about her new book. Really, the whole conference is essentially about this compassion, this content and design for people. So really excited about your talk. Now, because you’re locals and you’re familiar with Vancouver and area, would love to hear maybe some highlights or things that you want people who are coming to know about when they come to Vancouver this July?
Travis Gertz: I think it’s really fun to explore some of the nooks and crannies of Gastown. It can be kind of scary for people visiting and a lot of people will tell you not to, but like there is the little Hi-Five grilled cheese sandwich window down on Cordova Street, which is really close to the conference, and it’s great. You just get little grilled cheese sandwiches, and they are amazing. Or there are a few great restaurants in Blood Alley that you just wouldn’t know exist but they are kind of like hidden away there. So those are places to look out for. Lots of neat little galleries and things like that.
Rachel Gertz: Yeah and people are pretty friendly, so say that.
Steve Fisher: It’s always something to tell a visitor to say you should go to Blood Alley. What? But it actually is a great recommendation. Well, thanks for taking time today to talk with us and we’re really looking forward to having you at the event this July.
Travis Gertz: Thank you.
Rachel Gertz: Awesome. Thank you so much. We can’t wait to meet everybody. It’s going to be fun.